Menghai Tea Factory (berylleb on ebay)Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I was able to score a generous sample of this tea through a tea swap with a board member.
I found this tea to be remarkable. Remarkable in it’s smoothness of flavor, it’s lack of overly fishy umami , and the subtleties of flavor that came out over time. I made it through 7 steeps, and wish I had begun earlier so as I could continue. I won’t make that mistake again with this tea, as I believe there to be at least double the amount of steeps left. I’m looking forward to a rainy Saturday to sit and relax with this tea again.
There was a hit of bitterness in the first steeps, along with a dryness in the mouth feel. Perhaps it could have been alleviated with a second rinse, or a longer first rinse (mine was 10 seconds). By the 3rd steep the liquor was a deep red with a nice rounded mouth feel, and any bitterness was gone. To be fair, there is some umami, but it’s a pleasant addition to the full-bodied tea, rather than an overwhelming crush.
My wife didn’t like it and quit after 4 cups (70ml each). I have yet to discern her flavor profile, if she has one. I didn’t penalize the tea for her unrefined palate. ;)
I bought a 50g sample of this after reading all the rave reviews on Steepster, but sadly it was a little disappointing. The tea is pretty good—strong with that Menghai bitterness. But it’s just sort of…flat. Hard to describe—this tea just tastes so average, with very few flavors jumping out at me. It’s sort of like eating mild salsa. It tastes like salsa, it looks like salsa, but it’s just not as interesting as eating the spicier, more interesting stuff.
Although I mostly drink black tea, the past while everything started tasting the same, and even worse, not tasting good. So, I pulled out some pu’reh samples I have had stashed away as I had a feeling that is what I needed.. And I was right. This is what I want to drink now.
This tea in particular is so delicious, and although I am not able yet to describe any flavors other than smooth and darkly sweet, this is what I want to drink everyday. Since this is the last of my sample it will not be this particular tea, but this taste is what I want and am craving for now.
Thank you to a very special tea friend who sent these wonderful samples to me last year – I am lucky to have been touched by your kindness.
Price: £27.80 ($42.53) / 250g in box.
5g in Gaiwan.
On a good day: 82/100
On a bad day: 65/100
Hot gaiwan: Smouldering wood.
Wet: Dry, dusty, smokey, dark fruit.
Summary: Clear, swelling raisin sweetness is joined by honey sweetness to give a floral profile. Not concentrated herbal here. It does have a stimulating grip. The number of steeps it gives is fairly limited.
The problem with this tea is it’s a bit hit and miss when brewing. Some days it has an excellent honey sweetness I’ve not come across, then other days it is flat and fairly plain and mildly astringent. However, it was worth buying to taste that honey sweetness.
5s – Med orange; slightly cloudy. Mild raisins; very gentle bitterness; light body. A bit thin.
15s – Med orange/gold. Thicker. Raisin sweetness swells, and a honey sweetness sparkling returns.
20s – Med orange/gold. Not so much honey sweetness this time. I think it wants brewing longer for that.
30s – Med orange/gold. Honey and floral. The returning sweetness is there.
Flavors: Honey, Raisins
I have to admit right now that after drinking W2T’s Rapave, all other raw pu’erhs have new standards to meet.
This tea has one great mouth with a nice spunk to its taste. One can tell that it is a new cake, but that does not mean that it has astringency all throughout it; in fact, after steep 4 was smooth sailing for me. The liquid has medium thickness as I swish it around in my mouth. My favorite part of this tea is the lingering taste that has to go for at least four minutes… but I’m not sure its longevity because I have to keep drinking to remember its taste or my mouth will be mad at me.
Personally, I think the semi dry mouth that comes with the great feeling will dissipate over the years. I’d love to taste this one in a few years… which means I may end up picking up a cake if it combats with the Yunann Sourcing cake I just bought. Thankfully I have enough of each to have steeping battle between the two (aka, comparison)
I have been up since forever this morning and because of that, i’m trying to get through a few puerh that i haven’t yet tried, in the event i ever get around to being allowed to place an order. so i randomly pulled a 2007, 2008 and 2009 out of my cupboard of various puerhs to see what was what.
this particular one, is slow to build – the initial rinse and few steeps being lighter but still smooth and tasty. It reminds me of a few other puerhs that i’ve had – being nothing spectacular, but still an enjoyable drink. We’ll see how the rest of the day goes.
In an effort to relax a little today, i’m trying to spend some time at home cleaning and organising things while drinking some of my puerh. I haven’t had time to really sit down with any in the last little while so today is all about that. I worked from my blackberry yesterday to run errands since the entire team was basically off, so that i would have more time today for myself before my other half gets home for a couple days. Our lives are incredibly insane these days and a small part of me wishes the wedding was later lol.
we meet with the officiant tomorrow and our wedding coordinator within the next week or so…it’s all moving too fast!
this shou made me stop. I feel so out of practice with tea these days. It’s like i’m back to the “i like this or i don’t like this” versus where i was at being able to better describe what i was tasting. this is smooth with zero bitterness. It’s not too bold or an earthy sort of shou. I really like it. When i’m allowed to buy tea again, I’ll be picking up more of this one.
Just broke this cake out again to take it for a spin. Picked off just under 7gm and placed it in a small yi xing gaiwan. The tea is definitely evolving. The soup was clearer and had a lot of tingle on the tongue Still, a subtle brew but I’m beginning to appreciate the sophistication of this blend. I’m kicking up my rating and will try it again in a few months and report back.
Below the original review:
Bought this a couple of months ago and just got around to tasting it. It’s my first full-sized Dayi cake but, unfortunately, I am not impressed. I’ve drunk a lot of shou over the last 2 or 3 years and there’s something sorely lacking in this cake. It’s kind of dull tasting, nothing objectionable but not at all sweet and steeps out after about 6 times. I expected a treat and found it very disappointing. Planning to let it sit a while and see what happens but I don’t have high hopes for any improvement.
This was a wonderful brew! The dry beeng is loosely threaded thick roots of dark green with slight platinum and brass dustings. They have a very strong smoky aroma. I placed a generous amount of leaf in my warmed yixing, so that these tendrils would awaken. The warmed leaf gave off a bitter seaweed aroma. I brewed this Dayi beauty up. The flavor is truly beautiful. This brew is silky smooth with a thick mouthfeel. I was getting a graham cracker pie crust tone with sweet apricot. This drink has a lasting huigan, yet it is also complemented with a tasteful bitterness. This bitterness lasts throughout the session. My yixing yielded a thick orange broth for a decent amount of steepings. However, I did need to add an extra gram to my pot at about the third steeping, for I wanted a thicker more powerful brew. The cha qi from this session is rather strong. I acquired a full head and smooth body feel, in which I thoroughly enjoyed. I really liked this brew, and I am happy to have been guided towards acquiring it.
Flavors: Bitter, Cherry Wood, Graham, Seaweed, Smoke, Sweet
This tea is excellent. It is slightly bitter in the early steeps. There was a bitter aftertaste that never completely went away. There was a certain sweetness from the beginning, you might describe it as apricot depending on your point of view. While I can’t use the term tea drunk, this tea had a relaxing effect on me and I believe a strong cha qi. This was overall an enjoyable tea.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 minute. This was a high quality tea with nice looking leaves. The leaves were not finished even though I was. The tea liquid was still a nice color of yellow in the tenth steep. I am sure this tea would have gone fifteen or more steeps.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Sweet
From the Sheng and Shou TTB.
I’ve been wanting to try this for awhile, so jumped on the last little bit in the box. I enjoyed a few infusions last night and then returned to it this morning because the leaf was still not fully opened. It was smooth, sweet, and I think I got some date flavor at the beginning. Definitely a good one and I wish I had more to play with.
Finally! Dark orange liquor!
This is the first nicely aged sheng i have tried that i can truly rant to my friends about.
meduim-low astringency throughout , very very little kuwei (bitter), the best part about this tea is the huigan (returning sweetness), that lasts throughout the entire session, and long after youve stopped drinking.
I found this 250g brick for 28 dollars including shipping.
I was very skeptical of this bricks authenticity, not able to find much info on it (typical for puerh) but i was able to find a picure of this brick in a book, it seemed to check out.
I love this tea
Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Earth, Honey, Sweet, Wet Rocks
This tea is an interesting sheng. The color of the leaves were dark black. The tea liquid was light orange in color by the second steep. Perhaps you would describe it as dark yellow. There was an initial bitter character that took a while to disperse. Even in the twelfth steep there was some bitterness. The tea did develop some sweetness to it but I would not describe it as apricots or stonefruits. There was also a smoky character to the tea, deep but not biting. This smoky character remained to some degree even in steep twelve. I also believe I detected the beginning of an aged flavor if that is a good way to describe it, or perhaps I was just tasting the smoke, I don’t know. This was an enjoyable tea that had aged a fair bit, despite being only a 2011 tea. This was also a strong tea, even in steep twelve it had a nice golden color to it. I think this one would easily go twenty steeps if I had any desire to continue past twelve. I don’t usually take a puerh past eight or ten. This is also the first Meng Song raw tea I have tried. I have not delved much into specific regions and don’t know if a smoky character is common to Meng Song teas or if that is from the processing.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 9.1g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.
Flavors: Bitter, Smoke
Thank you so much boychick for this sample! I am finally getting to trying and reviewing this tea. The leaves are nice and dark, it come apart easily into my gaiwan.
I rinsed twice, then steeped it for 5sec/5/5/10/10/20/20/20/20/30……
I’m on my second day, and boy, I’m glad I let it rest overnight, it became a much happier shupu after a good night’s rest. I rinsed it twice and did three flash brews, and the color and flavor were quite light. This morning and afternoon, it became a much richer color, texture and flavor. Hot summer rain and wet moss notes combined with some nice cocoa and mushrooms. I had to take a break earlier, I was getting a bit too teadrunk on it!
This is an aged tea. It brews up a dark orange color. It had little bitterness in the initial two steeps then bitterness emerged in the third steep. It is a strong in your face sort of tea. Unfortunately, it also had a pronounced sour note to it. I do not know if I brewed it wrong but it was sour in character throughout ten steeps. On the plus side it had none of the unpleasant aged character teas often develop and the sour note may be a matter of having used too much tea. I will refrain from giving this a rating until I get a chance to try again.
I brewed this ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.
This one still needs a couple more years to clear up and lose the funk. Has a nice port smell I’m not tasting in the cup, mostly getting earthy and woody flavors. I’m surprised at how similar this is to 7572, flavor-wise, but more twiggy. A little disappointing a “tribute” cake is this twiggy. But it is early days with this cake, a couple more years and it could be stunning.
I am really grateful for the generous sample, since this cake is now costing $70 from Berylleb. I think this price is 2x too much to pay at this point, but perhaps the cake is getting scarce and that is the reason for the high tag. Paying for the label? But right now I can buy white2tea’s 2014 Lao Cha Tou, same gram weight as a full cake of this tea, for half the price, and a much better cup. Still, that thought won’t stop me from drinking this up.
Flavors: Decayed wood, Earth